Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Claire Danes Effect

For a moment I thought I saw Claire Danes come out of a Rover. Thank goodness it wasn’t. I would’ve given her the bird. I hate that bitch (sorry Homeland fans). It was for comments she made some time ago which I couldn’t quite get over still (not that it was anything remotely personal but it’s her fault for taking my bitterness away from Tommy Hilfiger). Must not let it ruin the evening though. It’s Friday and it’s the Sunset strip. The Bentleys, the girls on Jimmy Choos, the crowded clubs. Can’t get any more Hollywood than that. It’s been years since the road led me to this side of the town and it was nice to start the weekend outside of Orange County.

I wasn’t sure how the evening would turn out. It was one of those not-entirely-certain-what-to-expect kinda nights and my friend and I just wanted to get away. Our destination was Hollywood, Chateau Marmont to be exact. Already the place sounded great and immediately I felt a gush of adrenaline as I remember a good friend who works there (can someone say a free round of drinks please?? LOL). The drive was smooth and the Los Angeles skyline by night, despite the criticism, is still breathtaking. As we stroll along Hollywood Blvd, we were just entertained by our catch-up stories, Snow Patrol and the mere oddity of the street scenery. So occupied that we realized we were at Laurel Canyon already and nowhere near our destination (we’ve always wondered where Hollywood Blvd ends and now we know). After a couple of maneuvering in what seemingly are narrow and narrower streets, we managed to arrive to our watering hole.

We found a parking space just a block from the bar. Strange that it was empty except for a Lincoln Navigator, a minivan and a Corolla near the entrance where a man also standing was half-looking at us and half-busy with his phone. The lot was poorly lit and considering where we at and how few the cars parked in it, something just didn’t feel right. Suddenly from the corner, in what I initially thought was a heap of garbage, emerged a hobo. And that was good enough reason to skedaddle quickly. I drove around a bit to look for a different spot, in futile, so valet seems to be the only solution to our woes. However, it was imperative that we do self-parking as my ever-prepared friend has two tequila-filled plastic bottles in her purse. Obviously, we can’t walk in the streets holding those around. We managed to find our parking spot and the prelude to our evening was already taking place.

We enter Le Bar Marmount, buzzed. T’was very dim, a little crowded and the waitresses clad in red dresses with hoe-like stockings. We managed to slither into the darkness and found ourselves a small couch near the bar sans the table. Tequila shot for the lady, Jack and ginger ale for me. I knew we’re in for a pricy night but two casual drinks for $40?? Kinda stings! Realizing that my sous chef friend no longer works there, there’s no way the tab’s gonna make this any fun. We were one and done. We down our drinks and was about to pay the bill, until my crazy friend told us to just ditch. Are you freakin’ serious?? (suddenly a blast from the past circa 1995—the Silhouette Tower, me and my buddies plundering a big ass picture frame out of the wall hahaha).  What the heck right? And so we stood up, power-walked to the exit and into the boulevard, smiles in our faces, huge ones.  The less alluring Pink Taco bar just right across looked like a place to end and celebrate the impetuous undertaking. Tequila shot for the lady, Bud Light for me and tacos for both of us. Tab nowhere near $40. My friend goes to the rest room while I take a handle of the Marmont incident that just happened a few minutes ago. Guess who decided to drive by Sunset Blvd in front of Pink Taco?? Claire f’in Danes!!! Shakin’ my head. Just shakin’ my freakin’ head…

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throw Back Your Thursday

I look like a dork, a really ethnic looking skinny dork. And the years I’ve invested trying to get away from that persona was taken away from me in just an insta.. an Instagram photo! I’m not sure what to make of it though. On one side, it brings a smile to my face seeing a photograph of me during the time when the only camera pose I did was the down-syndrome. On another, really?? Do I have to be reminded how Napoleon Dynamitesque I was back then and introduce the young me to the world I know now? Please don’t torture them.

You see I don’t want to be the photo Scrooge who tells the proud photo-posting-happy friend that it’s not cool when he’s the only one who looks awesome in the picture. I get it that you want your social media friends to know that you were skinny at one point and that you were part of the Varsity Team back in high school. But for those of us who did not have really moisturized skin back then and were proud of our MC Hammer get up, could you blame us for not being too enthusiastic with all these throwbacking??? Back then photographs were very precious and really personal. You actually keep them and only share them to those in it and occasionally to Aunt Linda (because you’ll never hear the end of it if she does not see them). You don’t waste camera film (yes hashtag babies, they used to exist!) on food or your newly painted nails?? But thanks to the digital age, not only do people take pics like almost every second, they found a reason to dust off the old shoebox and pull out the old stack. So don’t be shocked if some day you’ll find that dreaded pic that shows the world how stoned you truly were during that first job interview. Could you imagine that Mr. CEO???

Whether the truly depressed or underachieved just relishing their young winning form once again, or the successful ones trying to inspire the uninspired by showing their measly roots, there’s gotta be some sort of gratification with #ThrowBackThursday, right? I’m sure not all would be receptive to seeing their old selves once again, so on behalf of those who lived two lives some time ago and wants to keep 1992 at 1992, a little suggestion to our social friends—do more TBT “selfies” okay? Hmmm… which gives me an idea! Perhaps we can cancel TBT altogether and just do Selfie Sunday?? Selfie Sunday!? Not bad?? Must tweet it now so it trends #SelfieSunday… You read it here first LOL!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Planet Of The Vapes

The boys are in the pit once again. Hennessy is chilled, barbeque on the grill and the artist of choice to serenade us that night is Lana Del Rey. It’s another birthday celebration and somebody’s going home drunk and perhaps hung-over the day after. Not much have changed since the last drinking spree except that the threshold for alcohol consumption is a little tamed and most noticeably the smell of cigarettes is finally gone. No, my buddies have not quit smoking. I don’t see that happening anymore at this stage in their lives. Now, they just vape.

In case you have been out of the scene and still Game Of Thrones-struck, the more hip-sounding “vape” has been a steady and growing fad aimed to substitute tobacco smoking. Vaping is derived from its tool called Personal Vaporizer (PV), which utilizes a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. There are some solutions that merely releases flavored vapor while some, those who could not totally divorce from nicotine, still has the deadly substance in it. They can, however, control the amount of nicotine they want to burn, or in a sense, kinda like gauging how long they want to live. Either way, the smell is nowhere near that of regular cigarettes and I can’t believe it came to this point, but second-hand smoke has never been so delightful.

The gadget itself is amazing. It’s taken over the entire table discussion. My homies talk about their PVs like it’s science. They talk about how precise your PV should be assembled, that the thread needs to be at exact length and that the atomizer—the heating element—must be of high quality. And you can throw in the towel when they start talking about the actual flavors. The list outduels that of Buffalo Wild Wings’ spicy choices by a mile. It goes from bubble gum to pineapple to tiramisu. I swear if it’s something that you can taste, there’s probably a liquid solution for that already. So it's no surprise that vape conversations get extremely serious. You can easily get lost in translation. I mean whenever I find myself in the middle of such talk, I feel as if I’m in high school Physics class again where every term seems so foreign. But at least I know this much—like I know much of the theory of relativity—the greater amount of smoke you exhale, the better your PV is!

Now don’t get me wrong. The smoke that fills the air is still annoying, flavorful as it is, especially if they get in your face. I don’t know as well how “healthy” exactly it is and if my friends actually vape virgin flavors or nicotine-infused ones. And I’m totally oblivious where the FDA stands regarding vaping but I’m sure the tobacco companies are not pulling for great reviews. Could you imagine how much money Marlboro is losing because of vaping?? All of my buddies have gone vaping and I see more and more switching everyday. Heck, I even have a friend who didn’t smoke before but now actually vapes.

Vaping may not necessarily save you from lung cancer nor is it gonna better our environment, but at least it’s a start. A planet of vapes?? Sounds.. er.. smells good to me!